Archive for the Advice for Wives Category

Wives Dealing With Tough Husbands: Any Options?

Posted in Advice for Wives, Marriage Counselling on February 19, 2010 by Shaz

In Islam, a man has options to choose from when his wife misbehaves or
does something displeasing. For example, negotiating, then leaving her
bedroom, and finally hitting lightly (with miswak-tooth stick). My
question is, what if a man misbehaves? Does the woman have any options?
What if he does something extremely horrible? What can she do? I know
there’s divorce, but for women it’s by khul`, which is a complicated
process. Why do men have all these options plus divorce, and women only
have divorce? And even when they choose divorce, it’s a longer and
tougher process than the men’s. I know Islam is fair, but when I asked
people I know this question, they never gave me a satisfying answer.
Please help me.

Answer By Yasmin Mogahed
Salam, Rahma.

Thank you for your sincere question and desire to seek the truth. May
Allah make the path to truth easy on all of us.

Although this is not a fatwa, I pray that it helps shed light on the
perfect justice of the religion of Allah.

First, it is imperative to stress, as you already mentioned, that Allah
is the Most-Just. If we ever perceive any injustice in His religion, it
is due to our own lack of understanding, rather than a flaw in the
religion.

As you know, men and women were created different in order to complement
one another and live in cooperation, and not competition. As with any
system, whether in the context of a corporation or a family, each
individual is assigned a role based on his or her individual nature and
talents.

The vital difference here is that the Lord of the universe is the one
assigning the roles based on His perfect knowledge of the nature,
strengths, and weaknesses of His own creation. In His infinite
knowledge, Allah has assigned men to be the managers, protectors,
maintainers, and providers of the family system. In the Quran, which
Muslims believe is the word of God, Allah says:

[Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has
given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support
them from their means] (An-Nisaa 4:34)

However, what many people fail to realize is that with this extra
authority comes a great deal of extra responsibility. Men will be held
accountable if their families are not protected and provided for.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,

All of you are responsible and each of you is responsible for his
people. The Imam (i.e. ruler) is the guardian of his subjects and is
responsible for them. A man is responsible for the people of his house.
A woman is responsible for the house of her husband. A servant is the
guardian of his master’s belongings and is responsible for them. Each of
you is responsible for his people. (Al-Bukhari)

Part of a man’s protecting his family means protecting their physical
needs. Providing food, clothing, and shelter falls under this
responsibility. However, his protection is not limited simply to
physical protection.

The man must also protect his family’s religion. In the same way he
would protect his family if they were struggling to find food, he too
must protect them if they are struggling with their religion. If his
wife or child is committing unlawful act, protecting them means doing
what he can to bring them back into the right path.

You will notice that the reference to admonishing the wife is in the
same verse, and follows the statement of men being the protectors and
maintainers of women.

Allah also says in the Quran what means:

[O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from Fire…]
(Al-Anaam 66:6)

Of course, saving each other from the displeasure of Allah goes both
ways. But note that even in a business model, when a manager is not
doing his job, the procedure for correcting him is different than the
procedure he takes to correct those he manages. Those on the team do not
correct the manager directly, but rather take their complaints to his
supervisor.

This is done because a manager’s authority over them would make it
ineffective to try to address him directly. Instead, they would go to a
person who has authority over him. In the case of a family this would
mean the imam, an arbitrator (from the family or otherwise), or a judge,
for example.

Also, note that when the wife is “misbehaving”, she is to be corrected
privately (within the family). When a man is “misbehaving”, he is to be
corrected outside of the private sphere (going to an imam, for example).
But, this is part of the extra responsibility of taking on a position of
power.

In any power structure, those who take on a position of authority must
be willing to be censured — sometimes publicly. When the Companion
Umar ibn Al-Khattab was Caliph, a woman publicly corrected him by
reciting a verse that contradicted what he had said. Omar responded with
a smile and said: “The woman is correct and Omar is mistaken.”
(Al-Qurtubi, 99)

When a person becomes a manager, with that power, comes the ability to
be publicly corrected, if one is not doing one’s job. Consider a college
classroom. Who is in the position of authority in this case? The
professor is. What happens if a student is loudly talking on their cell
phone and disturbing the class? The professor will censure the student
directly.

But what happens if it’s the other way around, and the professor is
talking on his cell phone rather than teaching the class? Will the
students go to him directly? Well, perhaps they might, but that may not
accomplish much, if he chooses not to listen. But are the students
powerless? No. Most students would recognize that going to the
professor’s supervisor would be much more effective.

In the same way, when a husband is not doing his job of protecting his
family, whether that means through negligence or mistreatment, the wife
should try to advise him. But if he refuses, the wife is told to go to
those who can have authority to make him change his behavior. A wife is
not powerless. It is quite the contrary.

The system put in place by Allah in fact ensures the rights of the wife.
Imagine if a wife was just left to compete with a husband’s extra level
of physical strength and authority, and there was no system in place for
the wife to go to his “superiors”. Imagine if those students had no
other avenue to change their professor’s behavior besides addressing him
directly. Chances are, they would not learn much in the class.

But there is one point, although often overlooked, which is extremely
important. Remember that Allah Almighty is always on the side of the
oppressed. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

Be afraid, from the curse of the oppressed as there is no screen between
his invocation and Allah. (Al-Bukhari)

So if a wife is being mistreated or oppressed in any way, Allah will be
her supporter. Consider the story of the woman at the time of the
Prophet who turned to Allah to complain of her husband’s injustice to
her. Allah not only heard her calls, He even revealed verses in the
Quran to respond to her. Allah says:

[Allah has indeed heard (and accepted) the statement of the woman who
pleads with thee concerning her husband and carries her complaint (in
prayer) to Allah. And Allah (always) hears the arguments between both
sides among you: for Allah hears and sees (all things).] (Al-Mujadilah
58:1)

Allah hears and sees all things. Could there be any greater comfort than
that?

I hope this answers your question. Please, keep in touch.

Salam.

The Language of Men: Understanding Your Husband’s Needs

Posted in Advice for Wives, Communication, Marriage Counselling on January 26, 2010 by Shaz

Question

As salamu ‘alaykum

What do you think should be as a wife if a husband always criticize the wife from the way she eat, dress, talk, most of the time putting her down and the husband feels superior though she already did what he wants, but it is still not enough for him and still got criticize.

Answer by Dr Karima K Burns(Naturopathic Doctor, Herbalist – Waldorf School of Thought )

This situation can happen with husbands and with wives and can sometimes indicate an abusive relationship, however, usually it indicates a mutually dissatisfying situation for both spouses. You have not indicated you are being abused in this enquiry, provided details about yourself or examples of specific situations so I will approach the situation using the second scenario. Additionally, since you have written to me (and not your husband) I am going to approach the question with a solution that you can try yourself.

If you were seeing a counselor together or your husband had asked this question I would have a slightly different answer. However, there is one rule in relationships that has stood true across all time – you can only guarantee change if you work on your own problems. There is never any guarantee with others, as their actions and feelings are beyond your control.

Because of this it would be useless for me to provide you with information about what your husband could do. I am providing information about what you can do, and how you can understand the situation more clearly. Not because you are at fault or the only person at fault, but because, since you have asked for help, I want to give YOU the tools to regain control of your happiness in this marriage.

In the second scenario I mentioned above, the marriage has become unbearable for both spouses and the focus has turned to criticism instead of love and understanding. You may perceive that only your husband is being critical. However, your e-mail indicates that you are also critical of him. In your e-mail you are stating that your husband “puts down his wife” ,that he “feels superior”, that he is “not satisfied with what he has” and that he “criticizes his wife.”

These are four very negative statements about your husband. He most likely can sense that you feel these negative feelings towards him (and perhaps more?). Even if you don’t express these feelings he can feel this in two ways. If you do express negative feelings he will feel this in three ways:

1. If you express sadness, negative feelings, dissatisfaction, anger, etc…he will feel you are not happy with him. He wants to be able to make you happy. Knowing you are unhappy will make him very unhappy.

2. If you feel these feelings about him and do not verbalize them they will come out in non-verbal ways and he will sense them.

3. A man’s sense of worth in a marriage is often tied to his feeling of self-worth as a husband and father. A man, to be happy in a marriage, needs to feel he is a good husband and father and that he is taking good care of his family. If you are not letting him know or feel he is successful then he will be unhappy and be more likely to reflect this back to you.

This is different from what makes a woman happy in a marriage. Women are often happiest when their husband and children show that they love her. Women also want to feel they are able to make their families happy. However, most prominently, they thrive on feelings of love in the relationship. Although men also need love, men thrive more on accomplishment in the relationship.

When your husband feels successful and able to make you happy he will be more and more encouraged to continue this behavior. This may seem impossible. You may be thinking, “How can I let him know he makes me happy when he isn’t making me happy?”

To accomplish this you need to turn your focus from the negative and be able to reflect back to him, for some time, only the positive aspects of what he is doing for you as a husband. Forget, for a time, the things he is doing “wrong” and focus on and communicate to him the things he is doing “right”.

Does he support you financially? Is he handsome? Does he thank you for the meals you cook? Is he kind to his family? What good qualities does he have that you are thankful for? Why did you first love him? Why did you first marry him? Does he still have some of these qualities? Let him know about these things daily.

It may take some time for you to see some change. It depends on how long you have been married, how long this negative situation has been going on, and how dedicated and sincere you are in trying to change it.

If you can give this some effort and be patient, and give him some time to trust you again and really hear you, he will start to feel safe again in the relationship and will feel free to stop criticizing you and start complimenting you and enjoying your company.

Initially he may not trust what you are saying, or he may be so used to hearing critical things he may not understand what you are saying or really hear you at first. So please be patient and continue. Only the most severe of situations can withstand the force of so much positive energy. If you are able to infuse this relationship with as much positive energy as possible – in as many ways as you can think of – he will be unable to resist the “new mood” of the house and will naturally fall into the new patterns you have created. It may take a little time (1-3 months) but it will happen Insha-Allah.

What to Do After Saying “I Do”

Posted in Advice for Wives on January 23, 2010 by Shaz

The Household Chores And The Husband!

Posted in Advice for Husbands, Advice for Wives, Marriage Counselling on December 3, 2009 by Shaz

Question:

As salamu aalikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!
Our beloved Prophet Muhammed (SAW) was a great leader, a great teacher, a great preacher, a Prophet, and he still had time and the mood to be a great husband. Why is it so difficult for men to be cooperative with their wives in house chores?

I’m a housewife, but I work as well at a company (temporarily at home as a freelancer). I love my husband very much, al hamdu Lillah, and generally I’m happy with our married life; however, I think it could be improved, insha-Allah.

Sometimes I can’t stop feeling that my two only functions is to clean the house (clothes, cooking, etc.) and satisfy him. Although I feel I’m right, sometimes, I also feel guilty because of that. I want to believe that a woman can be more than that! True! Because of the lack of cooperation and these feelings, I have started to become lazy with my house chores. I think it could be a lot easier for both of us if there was more cooperation, and I mean cooperation! I don’t want my husband to do all the chores, just to help sometimes. Whenever I request him, timidly, he gives “the annoyed look” and does some other chore that I didn’t ask him to do.

Answer:

Hwaa Irfan

As salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh dear sister…

Yes, Prophet Muhammed was a great leader, teacher, preacher, and husbands who helped with the household chores too, but guess what? There is only one Prophet Muhammed (SAW). We can always compare what we have with role models and make ourselves pretty miserable. If everyone had the same experiences, and learnt in the same manner, and applied themselves in the same way to all aspects of life, it would be very dull life do you not think? Al hamdu Lillah, Allah (SWT), got it right on our behalf, and provided us with variety. As much as 20th century man has tried to make everything the same between the sexes, somehow in real terms, it just does not quite translate! The reason why it does not translate is because we as humans like to re-write the rules without considering the consequences.

What was the above all about you might be thinking sister. Well, it would seem that because you go out to work, and you work at home as well you expect your husband to do the same. However, Allah (SWT) did not design the whole creation thing in that way, and made husbands and fathers the providers as stated in the Qur’an. This does not mean that only men can go out to provide, it means that it is their responsibility to provide. For wives it is a choice Islamically speaking, albeit that there might be a decision by both husband and wife that the wife should/could go out to work.

What your husband earns is for the benefit of the family, and what you as the wife earns is at your discretion. If your income is for the benefit of the family, it is because it is a decision made by the both of you. Having no knowledge of what your husband’s occupation is, in general men do like to return to the sanctuary of home which should balance out the demands of the outside world.

Before you blow steam, yes, you too have a demanding job both at home and at work. However, do you carry over the work mind set into the home? For example, if you have people working with you and under you, do you talk to your husband in the same manner in which you talk to them. Your day may be full of a set of instructions and orders in order to keep on top of the work, but by the time you return home, that social psychology should be left at the company you work for. When you arrive home you should be the wife, the friend, the sister who your husband looks forward to being with at the end of his working day. To enable this you too have to slow down. Yes, there are many things to be done when one gets home, but if you go at it the same way you do at work, there will be no difference for you or for your husband.

Take a look at the things you do when you get home and make a list of them all, then prioritize them. The colour code them into most important, less important, and can wait. The chores that need to be done every evening (most important), look at them again, and see how you can schedule you in! Schedule you in? Yes, by doing this you will provide yourself with the opportunity to unwind, to slow down, and to relax enough to be there for yourself, and for your husband. Less important tasks can be set for 2/3 time weekly, and least important once-a-week. 

  • Take that long shower or a hot bath, put some nice smelling oils in, then put on something comfortable.

 

  • Do your prayers on time, and give thanks for what you have.

 

  • Make du’aa’ that you will always understand and appreciate each other

 

  • Prepare the kind of meal that is good for the both of you, but does not require you to be in the kitchen all throughout.

 

  • Prepare the meal based on what you have. This helps to avoid unnecessary panic for an ingredient which results in a tiresome stint to the shops.

 

  • If your husband is present and has had some time to unwind, invite him to share in the preparation of the meal with you. The time could be used to talk about light subjects, and even share laughter.

 

  • While the meal is cooking, relax and do some reading. If your husband is home, sit and talk with him – share your day, or talk about something more interesting to the both of you.

 

  • The washing does not have to be done every day.

 

  • The cleaning can be kept to a minimum, especially if the home is not cluttered with furniture and furnishings.

 

  • Anything you need you husbands help in invite him e.g. “Could you help me to…” which goes much farther than an order.

 

  • Invite your husband into the kitchen to help set the table, dish out the meal, etc., with you.

 

  • Allow for each the time for a little privacy or quiet moment.

 

  • Shop for a week instead every time you run out of something. This can be done together, take turns, or he is responsible for certain types of shopping, and you other types of shopping.

 

  • With time on your hands, you might even be able to visit a friend, a relative, or attend an event together.

 

  • Most importantly, do not do the same thing every evening, otherwise routine will get the better of your marriage.

 

  • Always ensure that there is something that you can both do together.

 

Dear sister, have a happy life!

Jazakum Allahu khayrun…

60 Ways to Keep Your Husband’s Love

Posted in Advice for Wives on November 10, 2009 by Shaz
  1. Behave like a female, i.e. all the tenderness of a female–a man doesn’t want a man for his wife!
  2. Dress pleasantly/attractively. If you are a home-maker, don’t stay in your sleeping suit all day.
  3. Smell good!
  4. Don’t lay out all your problems on your husband as soon as he walks in. Give him a little mental break.
  5. Don’t keep asking him, “what are you thinking?”
  6. Stop nagging non-stop before Allah ta’ala gives you something really to complain about.
  7. Absolutely no talking about your spousal problems to anyone you meet, not even under the pretense of seeking help! If you think you want to solve legitimate marital issues, then go seek counseling with the right person who can give advice in either:
    1. Mediate any injustice done so any wrong can be corrected and the couple can reunite in harmony, or
    2. Amicable divorce
  8. Be kind to your mother-in-law the same way you would like your husband to be kind to your own mother.
  9. Learn all the rights and obligations of each other in Islam. Focus on fulfilling your obligations, not demanding your rights
  10. Race to the door when he comes home, as if you were waiting for him. Smile and hug him.
  11. Keep your house clean, at least to the level that he wants it.
  12. Compliment him on the things you know he’s not so confident about (looks, intelligence, etc.) This will build his self-esteem.
  13. Tell him he’s the best husband ever.
  14. Call his family often.
  15. Give him a simple task to do at home and then thank him when he does it. This will encourage him to do more.
  16. When he’s talking about something boring, listen and nod your head. Even ask questions to make it seem like you’re interested.
  17. Encourage him to do good deeds.
  18. If he’s in a bad mood, give him some space. He’ll get over it, inshaAllah.
  19. Thank him sincerely for providing you with food and shelter. It’s a big deal.
  20. If he’s angry with you and starts yelling, let him yell it out while you’re quiet. You will see your fight will end a lot faster. Then when he’s calm, you can tell him your side of the story and how you want him to change something.
  21. When you’re mad at him, don’t say “YOU make me furious”, rather, “This action makes me upset”. Direct your anger to the action and circumstance rather than at him.
  22. Remember that your husband has feelings, so take them into consideration.
  23. Let him chill with his friends without guilt, especially if they’re good guys. Encourage him to go out, so he doesn’t feel “cooped up” at home.
  24. If your husband is annoyed over a little thing you do (and you can control it), then stop doing it. Really.
  25. Learn how to tell him what you expect without him having to guess all the time. Learn to communicate your feelings.
  26. Don’t get mad over small things. It’s not worth it.
  27. Make jokes. If you’re not naturally funny, go on the internet and read some jokes, and then tell them to him.
  28. Tell him you’re the best wife ever and compliment yourself on certain things you know you’re good at.
  29. Learn to make his favorite dish.
  30. Don’t ever, EVER talk bad about him with friends or family unnecessarily. If they end up agreeing with you, you will see that it hits you back in the face because you get more depressed that you have a bad husband–and other people also think you have a bad husband.
  31. Use your time wisely and get things accomplished. If you’re a home-maker, take online classes and get active in your community. This will make you happy and a secondary bonus is that it impresses your husband.
  32. Do all of the above fee sabeelillah and you will see Allah put barakah in everything you do.
  33. Husband and wife should discuss and communicate with wisdom with each other to convey what they like and dislike of each other to do or not to do. Do NOT give commands or instructions like he’s your servant. “They are garment to each other” [Surah Baqarah, 2:187]
  34. Tell your husband you love him, many, many times. Aisha (رضالله عنها) narrated that the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) used to ask her how strong her love for him, she said like “a knot.” And the next time he would ask her, “How is that knot?” He also used to reply to her saying, “Jazzakillah, O Aishah, wallahi, you have not rejoiced in me as I have rejoiced in you.”
  35. Have a race with your husband and let him win, even if you are much fitter and stronger than him.
  36. Keep fit and take care of your health so you will remain a strong mother, wife, cook and housekeeper, inshaAllah you will not get FAT and frumpy.
  37. Refine and cultivate good mannerisms i.e do not whine, don’t laugh or talk too loud or walk like an elephant.
  38. Do not leave the house without his permission and certainly not without his knowledge.
  39. Make sure all his clothes are clean and pressed so he is always looking fresh and crisp.
  40. Don’t discuss important/controversial matters with him when he is tired or sleepy. Find right time for right discussion.
  41. The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.
  42. Always let him know that you appreciate him working and bringing home the “dough”. It makes it easier for him to go to work.
  43. Make sure you ALWAYS have something for dinner.
  44. Brush your hair, everyday.
  45. Don’t forget to do laundry.
  46. Surprise him with gifts. Even necessities, such as new shoes, can be gifts.
  47. Listen to him. (Even when he talks about extremely boring things like basketball or computers.)
  48. Try (hard as it might be) to take interest in his hobbies.
  49. Try not to go shopping too much … and spend all his money.
  50. Look attractive and be seductive towards him. Flirt with him.
  51. Learn tricks and “techniques” to please your husband in intimacy. (Of course goes both ways.)
  52. Prepare for special evenings with him with special dinner and exclusive time (no children permitted).
  53. Take care of your skin, especially your face. The face is center of attraction.
  54. If you not satisfied intimately, talk to him and tell him. Help him or provide resources, don’t wait until matters become worse.
  55. Ask Allah to strengthen and preserve the bonds of compassion and love between the two of you, every day, every prayer. Ask him to protect that bond from Shaytaan. When a lesser devil destroys the love between spouses, he is the most beloved of Shaytaan. Nothing works like du’ah, and love only exists between spouses where Allah instills it.
  56. Don’t EVER compare your husbands to other husbands! For example don’t say, “well her husband doesn’t do that, why do you …” (thats a killer!)
  57. Be happy with what you have because no one is perfect. If you want perfection, wait until you enter Jannah together inshaAllah–and of course, vice versa!
  58. Strive for Allah’s love first and foremost! if all wives try to seek Allah’s love and pleasure, surely, they can keep their husbands love too. And remember–if Allah loves you, the angels will love you, and the entire creation will love you.
  59. If you pack a lunch for your husband to take to work, from time to time sneak in a little love note or sweet poem. If he doesn’t take a lunch, leave the note somewhere else for him to find, like in his briefcase, or wallet or on the car steering-wheel
  60. Wake him up for Qiyam ul-Layl (in the last third of the night) and ask him to pray with you.

May Allah preserve all of our marriages and help us understand and implement them in and with the best of manners, ameen! InshaAllah if you know more ways, post them in the comments and share the benefit.

The Faith of Pharaoh’s Wife

Posted in Advice for Wives on October 26, 2009 by Shaz

Yasmin Mogahed

Asya, the wife of Pharaoh, was no ordinary woman. Her strength and her status will forever remain unsurpassed. She was a woman who never allowed herself to be defined or limited by her painful circumstances, but rather carried in her such a deep faith and sense of self that she was willing to die for what she believed in. It was for this reason that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) mentioned her as one of the greatest women of all time. One day, Prophet Muhammad drew four lines on the ground, and then asked, “Do you know what this is?” The Companions replied, “Allah and His Messenger know best.” The Prophet then said: “The best of the women of Paradise are Khadijah daughter of Khuwaylid, Fatimah daughter of Muhammad, Asya daughter of Muzahim, the wife of Pharaoh, and Mary daughter of Imran.” (Ahmad) Asya’s story begins in Egypt where she lived with her husband, Pharaoh — known as the greatest tyrant of all time. After being told by a fortune teller that he would be overtaken by a man from the Children of Israel, Pharaoh ordered all male babies to be executed. The Noble Quran describes the horrific life of the Children of Israel as follows, [And remember, We delivered you from the people of Pharaoh: They set you hard tasks and punishments, slaughtered your sons and let your women live; therein was a tremendous trial from your Lord.] (Al-Baqarah 2:49) So when Prophet Moses (peace be upon him) was born, his mother feared for his life. But God assured her that he would be safe, and told her to place him in a basket and put him on the Nile. The Quran tells us: [And We inspired the mother of Musa, (saying): “Suckle him [Musa], but when you fear for him, then cast him into the river and fear not, nor grieve. Verily! We shall bring him back to you, and shall make him one of (Our) Messengers.”](Al-Qasas28:7) And just as God had promised, Prophet Moses came safely to shore, where he was found by Asya, who was able to convince her husband to keep the child. God says in the Quran what means [Then the household of Pharaoh picked him up, that he might become for them an enemy and a (cause of) grief. Verily! Pharaoh, Haman and their hosts were sinners. And the wife of Pharaoh said: "A comfort of the eye for me and for you. Kill him not, perhaps he may be of benefit to us, or we may adopt him as a son." And they perceive not (the result of that).] ( Al-Qasas 28:8-9) So Moses grew, under the protection of Asya, in the house of Pharaoh. Moses grew to be a great prophet, who called his people to the worship of the one true God. But because of the oppression of Pharaoh, few people believed in him. Pharaoh proclaimed himself as God, and many of the Children of Israel were terrified to disobey him. God says in the Quran what means [Then he collected (his men) and made a proclamation, saying, "I am your Lord, Most High."] (An-Nazi`at 79: 23-24) For those who had dared disobey Pharaoh and believe in Moses, was a grave punishment. When the magicians realized the truth of Moses’ message, they immediately believed in the one true God. To them Pharaoh said: [Believe ye in Him before I give you permission? Surely this must be your leader, who has taught you magic! Be sure I will cut off your hands and feet on opposite sides, and I will have you crucified on trunks of palm-trees: so shall ye know for certain, which of us can give the more severe and the more lasting punishment!] (Ta-Ha 20:71) Yet despite this persecution, Asya believed in Moses’ message and held firmly to her faith. That faith was so strong, she was willing to die for it. When Pharaoh found out that she believed, he tortured her severely. Her belief in God was so strong, it made her an everlasting symbol: [God sets forth an example for those who believe — the wife of Pharaoh who said: "My Lord, build for me with Thee a house in heaven, and save me from the Pharaoh and his doings, and save me from an unjust people."] ( At-Tahrim 66:11) Asya was a queen. She was the wife of one of the most powerful men to walk the earth. She lived a life of unparalleled wealth and luxury. And yet, Asya knew that her true home was in Paradise. She had no attachment to this life. Asya was not defined by the wickedness of the man she married. Her mind and her soul remained independent of her husband. And her heart was not a slave to his beliefs. She refused to submit to the tyranny of her husband, but chose instead to devout her soul and her life to God. And in the story of Asya is an everlasting example of a woman who chose the Hereafter over all of the glitter of this world, and whose love for God and the Home with Him inspired her to take on the greatest tyrant of all time and give her life in the process.

A successful marriage: the missing link

Posted in Advice for Husbands, Advice for Wives, Tips for a Happy Marriage on September 1, 2009 by Shaz
A successful marriage: the missing link

By: Yasmin Mogahed

“And among His signs is that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between you; verily, in that are signs for people who reflect.” (Quran 30:21)

We’ve all read this verse on countless marriage announcements. But how many have actualized it? How many of our marriages really embody that love and mercy described by Allah? What is going wrong when so many of our marriages are ending in divorce?

According to Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, author of Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires; The Respect He Desperately Needs, the answer is simple. In his book, Eggerichs explains that extensive research has found that a man’s primary need is for respect, while a woman’s primary need is for love. He describes what he calls the “crazy cycle”—the pattern of argumentation that results when the wife does not show respect and the husband does not show love. He explains how the two reinforce and cause one another. In other words, when a wife feels that her husband is acting unloving, she often reacts with disrespect, which in turn makes the husband act even more unloving.

Eggerichs argues that the solution to the “crazy cycle” is for the wife to show unconditional respect to her husband and for the husband to show unconditional love to his wife. This means that a wife should not say that first her husband must be loving before she will show him respect. By doing so, she will only bring about more unloving behavior. And a husband should not say that first his wife must be respectful before he will show her love. By doing so, he will only bring about more disrespectful behavior. The two must be unconditional.

When I reflected on this concept, I realized that looking at the Quran and prophetic wisdom, there are no two concepts more stressed with regards to the marital relationship.

To men, the Prophet said, “Take good care of women, for they were created from a bent rib, and the most curved part of it is its top; if you try to straighten it, you will break it, and if you leave it, it will remain arched, so take good care of women.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

He has further stressed: “The most perfect believer in the matter of faith is one who has excellent behavior; and the best among you are those who behave best towards their wives.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

Allah says: “Live with them on a footing of kindness and equity. If ye take a dislike to them it may be that ye dislike a thing, and Allah brings about through it a great deal of good.” [Qur'an: 4:19]

The prophet has also said, “A believing man should not hate a believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another.” (Muslim)

In these jewels of wisdom, men are urged to be kind and loving towards their wives. Moreover, they are urged to even overlook their wife’s faults when showing that kindness and love.

On the other hand, when addressing the wife, the focus is different. Why are women not told again and again to be kind and loving towards their husbands? Perhaps it is because unconditional love already comes naturally to women. Few men complain that their wives do not love them. But many complain that their wives do not respect them. And it is this sentiment which is most stressed in the Quran and sunnah, with regards to wives.

Respect can be manifest in a number of ways. One of the most important ways to show respect is the respect of one’s wishes. When someone says, “I respect your advice”, they mean “I will follow your advice”. Respecting a leader, means doing what they say. Respecting our parents means not going against their wishes. And respecting one’s husband means respecting his wishes. The Prophet has said: “When any woman prays her five, fasts her month, guards her body and obeys her husband, it is said to her: Enter paradise from whichever of its doors you wish.” [At-Tirmidhi]

Why are we as women told to respect and follow the wishes of our husbands? It is because men are given an extra degree of responsibility. Allah says: “Men are the protectors and maintainers [qawwamun] of women, because Allah has given the one more [strength] than the other, and because they support them from their means . . .” (Qur’an 4:34)

But won’t this unconditional respect towards one’s husband put us, as women, in a weak, submissive position? Won’t we set ourselves up to be taken advantage of and abused? Quite the contrary. The Quran, the prophetic example, and even contemporary research have proven the exact opposite. The more respect a woman shows her husband, the more love and kindness he will show her. And in fact, the more disrespect she shows, the more harsh and unloving he becomes.

Similarly, a man may question why he should show kindness and love towards even a disrespectful wife. To answer this question, one only needs to look at the example of Omar Ibn ul-Khattab. When a man came to Omar (who was Khalifah at the time) to complain of his wife, he heard Omar’s own wife yelling at him. While the man turned to leave, Omar called him back. The man told Omar that he had come to complain of the same problem that Omar himself had. To this Omar replied that his wife tolerated him, washed his clothes, cleaned his home, made him comfortable, and took care of his children. If she did all of this for him, how could he not tolerate her when she raised her voice?

This story provides a beautiful example for all of us—not only for the men. This story is a priceless illustration of tolerance and patience, which is essential for any successful marriage. Moreover, consider the reward in the hereafter for those who show patience: Allah says, “Only those who are patient shall receive their reward in full without reckoning (or measure).” (Qur’an 39:10)

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